Super Rich Chinese Have Insatiable Appetite for Haute Couture

You know that China counts thousand of Super Rich People, and a lot of them like Haute Couture, but Luxury is a Brand Market in China.

Branding first, Product/creation second.


China’s ongoing transition to a more market-oriented economy after decades of strict communist rule is producing a constant stream of newly rich.

  • The number of high-net-worth individuals in China has risen nearly 9 times in the last decade.
  • The number of Chinese with at least 10 million Yuan ($1.47 million) of investable assets was 6 million in 2016, up from 180.000 in 2006, according to the 2017 China Private Wealth Report by Bain Consulting and China Merchants Bank.

Evolving with higher spending power is an increasing appeal for self-presentation through haute couture fashion. Affluent Chinese women are willing to spend thousands of US dollars on designer dresses and Chinese businessmen are turning to prestigious tailors for quality and stylish custom-made business suits.

It has been 40 years since those days when everyone was dressed identically. Now, Chinese are more eager to dress up, stand out and express their individuality through outfits designed specifically for them.

Guo Pei, China’s First Haute Couture Designer

Made-to-measure fashion is an art form more than a service to create exquisite artisan costumes for each client. The couturiers take measurements of the client’s body, devise a unique pattern for each person, carefully select fabrics and sew the pieces manually until it becomes a gorgeous garment that fits the person perfectly. The idea is not to offer simply a garment but a new style for Chinese people to present themselves to the world.

Master tailor Dave K.C. Shiung advises a customer at Dave’s Custom Tailoring in Shanghai. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The haute couture business is soaring in China. With people’s income rising and social status improving, the bespoke market in China will grow larger in the future.


The Chinese super-rich has the reputation of preferring international “Western” designers over local ones for the past two decades, but that’s changing, especially with the younger generation.

Chinese couture designers with international experience are making their voice heard and their talent is seen in the high-end apparel world. They are aspired to create a unique image for modern Chinese women, to accentuate their distinctive beauty and at the same time, present Chinese’s own language of fashion to the world.

Local fashion designers have the advantage of understanding better their Chinese clients – the body type, skin tone as well as different needs for appearance, for social and even inner needs. They are presenting Chinese luxury clientele — with closets already full of Gucci and Louis Vuitton —a new level of experience customized for each individual style preference.

Maggie Q, Grace Chen and Vivienne Tam at the China Fashion Gala. Photo: Courtesy

With rapidly growing consumer spending power and the tastes and demands that evolve with it, it’s only a matter of time before China develops and establishes its distinct “fashion identity” — with domestic designers helping to shape the movement and international ones struggling to adapt.


Haute contour can be seen as more exclusive and relationship-driven than normal products. However, for a country with 802 million people now actively using the internet (57.7 percent of the population), establishing a strong presence and reputation online is a must to reach new clients as well as engage with current ones.

1. First thing first, have an elegant and luxurious-looking website in local language 

70% of Luxury Clients in China will check the official website at least once.

A website is your home where you publish and share your brand’s story, opinions, news or inspirations with clients. High-end fashion brands and designers represent a sophisticated and extremely refined style. Therefore, it is crucial to reflect these qualities in a beautiful and elegant website. Every website is carefully crafted.  We will work closely with you to understand your specific needs and develop them into an exceptional looking site that is aesthetically pleasing, easy to navigate and intuitive to the users.

To better serve Chinese clients, your website should be optimized for the local language. This also shows your care, respect, and commitment to Chinese culture and people.

2. Be visible on Chinese search engines

Even if you are confident that more than 70% of clients introduced to your brand are from word-of-mouth, the other 30% should be from the Internet.

We are confident that this percentage is higher in China (even for high fashion). Over 81.1 percent of the Chinese population are search engine users and over 60% of Chinese consumers do extensive research before purchasing a product or service. Being prominent on Baidu – China’s number one search engine is, therefore, crucial. Baidu occupies 80% market share in the searching field.

To appear at top positions on first pages for a searching result on Baidu, you can either apply search engine optimization techniques or using pay-per-click ads. Baidu, in essence, is similar to Google but its algorithms have many differences and adaptations to fit Chinese’s searching behaviors. Read our comprehensive guide about marketing on Baidu

With an incredible number of 60 million visitors per day, Baidu can help you reach out to a huge base of targeted customers who actively search for your service.

3. 92% of luxury brands are on Wechat

WeChat has more than 1 billion users globally.

With great flexibility in structuring and designing an account, fashion brands and designers on WeChat would be able to effectively showcase their brand identity and stories to potential Chinese customers. Additionally, they can form a personal yet interactive engagement with fans through various features of Wechat such as Moments Ads, mini-programs, push notifications, geolocation capabilities, e-commerce, and customer service capabilities, etc.

For high-class customers, the ability to connect to brands at a much more intimate level is critical. This is especially true when consumers are accessing the information digitally or through social recommendations from their friends and peers. This perceived affiliation with luxury brands will strengthen overall brand engagement and loyalty.

For example, high-end fashion brand Céline has already created an account on WeChat and has used it for their ready-to-wear campaign in November 2017. Other brands such as Coach, Bulgari and UK’s Burberry have also joined this social platform.

Since the industry has noticed the importance of this application, brands and designers need to develop the technical capabilities of their WeChat accounts, who can help drive consumer engagement, traffic in stores worldwide, and sales.

4. Establish a close relationship with powerful KOLs

In China, the power of KOLs cannot be ignored. When it comes to taking advice, the Chinese value the information from their peers, friends, bloggers, and celebrities they follow. KOLs have millions of followers whom they influence significantly.

Getting your brand or reputation associated with the right faces would not only boost awareness but also reaffirm your position in the market.

For an exclusive industry like designer fashion, it is even more important to be known and circulated by KOLs and prestigious personas. Since mass marketing can undervalue your luxury brand, marketing through selective influencers would be the best choice.

Making the first step into China’s intricate world of KOLs can be intimidating. It’s recommended to secure support from professional agencies that have a broad network with Chinese KOLs. More information about KOL strategies here

5. Meet your Customers in person through events

Events are great opportunities for engagement with customers and buzz on media. With the presence of some celebrities or significant characters, your events will not only attract huge attention from media but also go viral on social media or online communities. It can be costly and overwhelming to organize events for the rich;

However, with professional support from agencies and a truly unique amazing theme or idea, your events will be able to win the hearts of new customers.


Case 1: Vogue Paris

The Company:
• The French edition of the famous American fashion magazine.
• Since 1920, famous public figures appear on the cover of the magazine.
• The magazine cooperates with renowned photographers, models, and actresses to publish such iconic covers.
• In China, Vogue aims to promote, educate and build their status as an authority on the French culture of fashion.


  1. Increase in Traffic.
  2. Connect with Influencers.


  • Management of WeChat and Weibo accounts.
  • Content Marketing.
  • Engagement with Influencers in Fashion.


  • More than 2,000 visitors per day on the Vogue official website.
  • 2000 Chinese influencers in Fashion followed the Weibo account.
  • Increased to over 100 000 Weibo followers.

Case 2: Neima Sitavi

Neima Sitavi is an Italian fashion boutique brand founded by an America-born fashion designer, Neima Sitavi. GMA took this project when they just founded, helped them promote their fashion attitude in the Chinese market.


  • Collections booklet
  • Personal Branding
  • PRs


  • 200+ Quality Content
  • Exposure 300%+




We believe in the Super Power of branding

We collaborate closely with International Luxury brands and designers to understand their roots and offers everlasting digital vision through: Concept, Branding, Users’ experience, Website Design, Communications & Advertising.

The Experts at GMA combine experience and know-how, fueled by passion.

Our agency is flexible and open to international markets, with a reasonable number of clients, which allows us to remain available for close cooperation and a tailored approach.



  • elizabeth

    Hello, I built my clothes brand 2 years ago and now I have several little stores in the US. My products are made of good quality materials and there are divided into 2 sections: premium clothes and a little part of clothes that are more Haute couture oriented.
    Can I use the same strategy that I used in the US? As using the press, internet ads and promotion on Facebook? If not could I ask for your help? Thanks, kind regards,


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